Monday, December 31, 2012

It's New Year's Eve and I am back to blogging!

Oh Blog, how I have missed you! I have been spending quality time with family since a few days before Christmas and have not blogged as a result. Just like you, I am human and not perfect in every way, so forgive me for neglecting you.

WOW! It has been an incredible year! Can I say that REALLY LOUD? As I sit here at my desk trying to concentrate and turn off my severe A.D.D. (because there is 70's and 80's retro disco music blasting in the background) I am reflecting. I cannot believe what has happened in a single year's time... (insert Corey who just jumped in front of me and wiggled his butt to the music!) Okay, now... what was I saying? Oh yeah, what a year it has been! HA! I cannot help but think of how it all happened, and how I want to share with you that nothing happens without forward motion. (notice I did not say reverse or pause) Yes, you actually have to DO the things that will catapult you towards that pretty field of beautiful flowers that you hope to land in. It WILL happen if you just stay focused and shoot for it! Trust me, I seriously, no joke have a REEEALLLY hard time focusing with my rat-on-a-wheel brain, so if I can do it, YOU can do it!

Now... to share my personal top 4 BEST events of this year

At the beginning of this year, I started my inspirational/motivational blog and thanks to all of you, my readers, it has been very successful! I have some great plans for it in 2013 so I hope you continue to enjoy what I post, there is MUCH more to come!

In August of 2011, I had finished the first draft of my book and was determined to have it in the retail market before this year end. THAT happened, and so far the book is very well received and I have sold over one hundred copies since it hit the market on October 20th by just posting on Facebook, thanks to all who have purchased and endorsed the book, without you... I would have no audience! I don't have thousands pouring in from royalties yet, (yes I said yet because I am a forward thinker) however the feedback from reader's has been amazing and overwhelmingly emotional; to me that makes it a success even if I never sold another copy!  I have been told it has been inspiring & life changing and well... that's enough for me!

Corey and I bought our first home together this year and it has been a pretty smooth transition... honestly WAY smoother than I thought considering everything, a few bumps that we expected but things are going really great and I am looking forward to our 1 year home purchase anniversary in April which we have decided (Corey's idea) to carve our names into the tree in our front yard.

Abrielle started school, yes REAL school at the young age of 3... WHAT an emotional day! My little munchkin who has the whole world ahead of her is conquering this new challenge full force. That extra chromosome #21 is doing her good. All I can say is I KNEW IT the moment I met her in real life. She is spunky, amazing and brings me more smiles to life than I could have EVER anticipated. She makes you realize life is full of crap that you just need to LET go and keep smiling. I know 2013 will be a HUGE year for her and the goals we are setting for her. Follow it all through the blog and her you tube channel. (

In the end, it is all what you put your mind on that truly happens. There were a lot of negative things that happened too, in our world, in our back yards, in our lives but if you keep your mind on those things... you will get more of it, so I won't reflect on that here. I choose to keep my mind on what I want and OFF of what I don't... that's actually a motivational quote I read once and from the moment I read it, I began living it. IT WORKS!

 As you plan out the next year, setting your goals, your resolutions,  thinking about your aspirations...
 (you must do all of this to get anywhere) know that you can do anything that you set your mind to. It never happens overnight, it may not even happen next year but don't give up and it WILL happen.
(unless it has to do with marrying a celebrity; not to say that couldn't happen but it's less likely not to mention TOTALLY overrated.)

I love you all... genuinely in the kind of way I should because we are all in this together and when we all feel that way perhaps we will get to live in that "perfect world". Until that day, I will keep sharing, keep typing, and keep inspiring people one blog post at a time!



Here are some pictures from the past several days of family time!

Our New Year's card photo session which was like herding cats but we still ended up having fun!

My brother Keith and I Christmas Eve when we flew him in as I surprise

  Christmas Morning

A pretty close-up tree picture... I do one or two of these every year

Sunday, December 23, 2012

On the Tenth Day of Christmas I give you... MEANING

It has been a fun-filled yet exhausting day. I started the day out making my good friend and last client before the holiday... Emily pretty for Christmas. I then dropped off something to a friend that I picked up for her in The Cayman Islands, got stocking stuff purchased and dropped off donations to a friend who organized a Christmas Wish event for a needy family. It was a great day and it really got me in the spirit of Christmas. Then... something happened to change all of that...

On the tenth day of Christmas, this blogger gives to you... MEANING, and a reminder of what Christmas is truly about!

Every year since I moved to Florida, (1999) my oldest brother Keith who once lived in Orlando and I had traveled up to South Carolina the day after Christmas to spend the holidays with our Mom and younger brother. We generally stayed through New Year's Day which is his birthday, to have a huge New Years Eve party to celebrate. Well... in 2009 my brother Keith moved to Kansas with a former girlfriend and for the first time in years, did not make the drive with me. So... in 2009, I drove through the night with my daughter Cierra, who at the time was 17, and my three little ones sleeping in the back seat of my cream PT Cruiser; my son Zane was 2, Baleigh was 8, and my littlest munchkin Abrielle was nothing more than a 4 month old 5-lb little peanut at the time. It was a LOOOONG night and I honestly recall having to call my mother on the final stretch just to not fall asleep at the wheel. When I arrived at her house, she opened the garage door, I hopped out of the car delirious (it was now 5a.m. and I had been up for 27 hours straight) I kissed her, left all the kids in the car for her to retrieve and went to bed. LOL!!! It had been a rough year, and I did not think I was going to be able to handle making the trip, physically or monetarily... but I did it anyway because being with family is what Christmas is about. Without Keith there, it did not feel the same but we made the best of it and had a pretty good time.

Since that year... times have been tough for him and he has yet to make it back to Florida for Christmas. In October of 2010, my mother moved down to help me with my children leaving my youngest brother and his family behind in SC. My oldest daughter went off to Colorado for college that same year, but luckily has been able to come home the past two years for the holidays. Having us all together however, has not  happened since 2008 and I truly miss this time with my awesome family. I found out today that my brother Keith would be spending Christmas alone and that did not feel right. Even though my daughter and I had searched flights earlier this week to try and get him here, flights were astronomical. Today... as I felt like Santa be-bopping around humming Christmas songs, I was saddened to find out he would be alone and my merry spirit changed to sadness.

I asked my daughter to jump online and see what the cheapest flight was out of Kansas... we had to try one more time. Low and behold we found an affordable flight with only ONE SEAT LEFT and we booked it. I called my brother to ask him what his plans were for Christmas Eve. He told me he was invited to a friend's house to watch movies. I then asked about Christmas day through New Years... to which he said "nothing". I happily said... " well... I have something to tell you, you will be in Florida until the 4th." He was silent... and in shock said "What? How?" To which I said "Santa is good to good girls and boys, and left it at that." I cannot tell you how excited I am to have been able to do this, my daughter and I made it happen. I cannot WAIT to pick him up from the airport on Christmas Eve night. Now, if I could only get my younger brother to drive down with his family for New Year's so we could bring back a family tradition ... it would be a perfect year end!

Remember... it's not about opening gifts, it's not about money spent, it's not about Santa Claus...
it's about FAMILY and spending time with the one's you love! 


Saturday, December 22, 2012

On the Ninth Day of Christmas...I Give You Remembrance

Gosh... what a busy time of year. Hustle and bustle and SO much to do, and that's even when you are NOT in charge of making people beautiful for Christmas... add that to the plate and you have yourself a doozie of a schedule! Last night, I posted about having a little surprise for my readers on my Facebook fan page and TOTALLY dropped the ball because I fell asleep watching a movie with my family. I am REALLY sorry if I got your hopes up only to let you down. (insert REALLY sad puppy face) My little "surprise" was actually something that I thought of yesterday morning as I was drying my hair... and now that it's kind of late I hope it has not lost it's luster or it's meaning... but a promise is a promise so here it goes...

On the ninth day of Christmas, this blogger gives to you poetry with a meaningful message...

Twas the Friday before Christmas and all over Facebook, opinions were flying and I couldn't help but look. There are stockings all over, hung for each girl and boy, but some parents are not filled with that warm Christmas joy. Sacred and innocent moments were lost; just the Friday before and I ask at what cost? I know that we all have emotions and rights, but for me it seems wrong for these now sleepless nights. As a mother I ache and I pray for their pain, as they stare at those stockings and gifts through their rain. I am proud for my country and the choices we allow, but I can't help but think that their is a cost to it now. I know you have reasons for wanting your rights, but I hope you can think of these poor sleepless nights. Perhaps it's a simple solution they say... but I know it's not easy so for this I will pray. We all seem divided through our justice and rights, and because of all that we'll have more sleepless nights. It's not much to ask for a little more care, to help protect lives of the people out there. The safety and protection we all feel we need would likely be given if we take away greed. I ask as you snuggle your children so tight... remember those lives and those poor sleepless nights.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

On the Eighth Day of Christmas... I Give you Hope

It has been an awesome day. I woke to a hot cup of coffee and a"guest" blog post written been my oldest daughter Cierra that brought me to tears. For so many years I felt like being a single mom practically her whole life would leave her scarred, empty in some way and messed up because she did not have the "dad" that little girls need. That is what you learn, that is what statistics say, and well... who was I to think my situation would be any different? Much of her life I was so busy working that I felt like I missed everything. I did miss a lot, but luckily, by the time she entered high school I was able to get involved with her activities in ROTC, and I knew that although I could never make up for time lost, I could be there in some of the most difficult years a child faces, and that was what I did. As you can see, if you read last night's blog... or any of the others where I mention her accomplishments, she turned out pretty amazing, so I guess I did not "conform" in that department either. Rules are made to be broken, records are out there to break, and determination in making something happen leaves the sky as your limit.

So... on the eighth day of Christmas, this blogger brings to you, hope... in a world that seems to have very little anymore; especially lately.

Have you ever felt defeated? Like you have tried so hard to accomplish something only to hit repeated dead ends, obstacles that reproduce and patches of ice even on sunny days? Congrats! You have experienced life, and chances are you are living it better than people around you despite the hiccups because I bet you have taken a few chances; the key to a fulfilling life. Playing it safe is, well... boring and although you may feel comfy and cozy all snug as a bug with a steady paycheck and a predictable future, chances are that one day you will look back on life with regrets or a few "what if's" because you did not put your dreams into motion. Now, I am not saying go out, quit your job and put your family in jeopardy to fulfill your dreams of being a rock star, what I am saying is that you have to LIVE to live and sometimes that means keeping your dreams alive along side your everyday life. Living is not always achieving what you are after, sometimes it's just doing all that you can to make it happen regardless if you ever get there. Although I hate the word "try" you must first "try" if you ever "will"; it's the first step.

So... what happens when you fall on your face into the mud? You bathe... and perhaps next time wear different shoes. It's okay to fail... in fact it is necessary to fail if you hope to succeed. Hope is a word that many people have forgotten because we live in a world where news is all bad news, "economy" is a buzz word, failed systems are the headlines of every paper and hope seems out of reach. Newsflash... HOPE is always in reach, along with FAITH and COURAGE. Nobody can take those things from you unless you let them; remember that and keep it tucked in your pocket for rainy days when lightning strikes and makes your hair stand up.

There were many times in life when I wanted to give up, but I knew I couldn't because if I did, I would  never know what I could have done if I kept going. I put my mind to work, picked my crushed heart up off the floor several times and RAN faster and harder the next go-round. That finish line is in view, I am accomplishing something big... I feel it in every bone, and lately it is being validated by other people who are reading my book and becoming inspired by it.

This afternoon, I got an email from my sixth grade teacher who happened to be the very woman who inspired my writing eons ago. She taught me how to express myself through words, to use my "visual" mind to capture the emotional and mindful thoughts that were bottled up inside of me. Through Facebook, I have been able to reconnect with this teacher after roughly 26 years and I sent her a book for Christmas. She received and read it today and wrote me an email describing what she thought of it. I was brought to tears once again, because to me... it was my first REAL review. She did not go through  any of the events with me, as many of my friends who have read it have, she only knew me as  a student many moons ago in a sixth grade classroom, and she is an avid reader a lover of poetry, and literary guru. Her review was golden and surreal and most of all encouraging. I have not yet gotten her permission to share it in  it's entirety but I will share a small excerpt in this blog that literally blew me away, as I feel she would not mind being in this context. It gave me HOPE that I can do this writing thing... that my dream of being a writer may not be as far fetched as some may have thought (including me.) When your hopes are validated by actions and outcomes, the journey is that much sweeter. Here is a small excerpt from her beautiful message to me.

"You certainly have a story to tell, struggles no adult could have handled, observations and perception absolutely nobody would have caught, and a way of conveying that is unique and totally without imitation. I want everybody to read your book: Everybody needs to have their lives changed like reading your book is changing me. I saw you as you were but now you are able to articulate where you came from and where you now are and are going. Keep writing, Shelley, because the world needs you."

I hope that you find HOPE in whatever it is you wish to achieve, and I encourage you as I always do and always will to NEVER give up on ayour dreams!

If you would like to purchase a copy of my book, click either of the links below

**On my Website**

**On Amazon**

On the Seventh Day of Christmas...I give you my daughter

Hello fellow blog readers...I am Shelley Giard's oldest daughter, Cierra. She talks about me a lot on here so if you are a frequent reader I am sure you know a lot about me already or have at least seen pictures of me on here. Tonight, I get the honor of writing on her blog page. This is my first time ever blogging so the best thing I can think to write about is my side of everything you know about my mom and how much she has inspired me to become the best I can be. So here goes nothing...

Growing up a lot of my memories are fuzzy because of the constant moving around that I did. But one thing that I will never forget is how much my mom has always been there for me compared to how little my dad has been. Now please don't get me wrong, I am not in the least bit trying to throw myself a pity party. I constantly used to ask myself how I turned out so normal without a male figure in my life growing up. But just recently, I found the answer and it had been in front of me my whole life, my mom. If it weren't for her, there is no way I would be where I am today; 20 years old, living on my own across the country from all of my family and supporting myself one hundred percent. My mom and I laugh now remembering my rebellious summer that I thought moving to South Carolina to live with my dad was the best idea. Needless to say, words cannot say how glad I am that I have a mom who cares about me enough to not let me put myself in that situation. I find that with every day that comes I become more and more like my mother and after seeing all the things she has accomplished in her life so far I cannot wait to see what I do.

I moved away from everything that I knew two years ago to go to school in Colorado with one of my best friends from high school. Growing up around an all-around artistic family I wanted to try and stray away from that and get a degree in Social Sciences, more specifically Sociology. After testing the waters in beautiful Colorado I realized my true passion lied in Photography and Graphic Design after all. However the University of Colorado did not offer any kind of degree catering to that. After searching for art schools in Denver I found one that sounded like the right fit for someone like me...School is not for everyone though and after taking some classes, I recently realized I am one of those people. Usually someone of my age would be scared that they could not make it in the real world and get a "big girl job" without a degree. But seeing my mom and all of the amazing things she has done without a degree takes that fear away from me. She has instilled in me a fearlessness and an undeniable strength that I know will lead me to success.

So tonight instead of hearing about how well I am doing from the words of my mother, I decided to share with you WHY I am doing so well...Thank you mom for everything you have done for me and all I can ask is that you will continue supporting me in everything I choose to do. I think I am pretty much done with my silly, rebellious and irrational decisions :)

Now some pictures I found that reminded me of someone I'm proud to call my mom...

"Live today as if tomorrow doesn't exist and it is your last day to achieve everything you want in life"
CDW 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On the Sixth Day of Christmas... I give you laughter

Well... today was FUN! It's not often enough that A.) I get to see my daughter that lives in Colorado and B.) that we actually get alone time when she is here to just be silly and have "girly" fun. Today we got to do that and well... it was AMAZING! We laughed and shopped and laughed some more and it warms my heart to have her home for the Holidays, nothing more perfect than having all four of my mini-creations together to make it feel like Christmas, we don't need toys to entertain ourselves.

So... on the sixth day of Christmas this blogger brings to you a handful of laughter, five things to wish for, more inspiration, one day of silence, two thoughts to ponder and a blog post to share with your friends. (to see all those other days keep scrolling down at the end)

As cliche as it is... laughter is such awesome medicine. It will make a bad day turn around so fast, pea soup will be flying out of your mouth from the spinning. (hope you get that reference if not Google pea soup Linda Blair) I purposely experience a little laughter each day, even if that means going on the internet and doing a Google search for "things that make you laugh" in order to get it. However, since I have what I see on my Facebook feed down to a science I can usually just log in because I can always count on certain people to have posted something funny. I actually enjoy my friend Angee's sarcastic posts so much that if for any reason she does not show up on my feed I go straight to her page when I need to laugh. I can also often count on my friend Wendy, because she also has an amazing sense of humor. (some of which I will share in a moment) It's just GOOD stuff! SO..... just in case you did not get laughter today, I decided that on this sixth day of Christmas to deliver it to you; here ya go!

Facebook status' and pictures that made me laugh this week:

1.) "Since its the Holidays and all, I have decided to cut back on being sarcastic.... So I solemnly swear to only be sarcastic on days that begin with T.... like Tuesday, Thursday, Today, and Tomorrow!!"

2.) Caption was... "I wanna be a cowboy baby!" 
(just in case you do not understand, this is an Elf on a Shelf (Google it) 
and the caption is a song by Kid Rock)

3.) "Is it REALLY necessary for the first square of toilet paper to be glued down???!!!!!"

4.) Taken from my friend's wall who just had her first amazingly adorable baby.
"Ever have someone projectile shit in your hair? I have!!!"

And now for a few laughs I found Google Searching...

And last but not least... just me and my kids

I must mention that the VERY similar facial expressions in the above photos were NOT planned!

^We have totally rubbed off on him^

^^ "Five Hour Energy Anyone?"^^

 "It's not mustache it's MUUUSTACHE!"


Monday, December 17, 2012

On the Fifth Day of Christmas... I give you wishes

I am so happy today. My oldest daughter flew in from Colorado and all of my kids are home! Time to kick off this Christmas thing full speed ahead! So...

On the fifth day of Christmas this blogger brings to you, five things to wish for, more inspiration, two thoughts to ponder, one day of silence, and a blog post to share with your friends.

Many many things get my engines going and because of that I know that I have been given the gift of passion. I used to use it inefficiently, however as the years have passed and I have grown up I use it in a much more positive way, for the greater good... I am thankful that lesson was learned. Tonight, I will get back to my postings of wisdom and inspiration with my top 5 things to wish for. Obviously, I cannot tell you what to wish for but I tried really hard to think of five things that we all would want regardless of race, religion, or social status and this is what I came up with. I gave one tip each on how to get them.

5. Less stress
 ** Turn off the TV and do something else you love instead

4. More abundance
** Diversify your income by turning a hobby or a passion into a secondary money maker

3. Closer families
** Call a family member at least once a week. No texting or emailing, actually have a conversation. Perhaps  get in touch with one who lives far away or one that you have not spoken to in a while for whatever reason. Call a different one each week until you have called them all and then start the cycle over again.

2. To be Hopeful
** Soul search to come up with the reason you lost hope, then tell yourself that you can DO this... because if you believe you can, YOU WILL!

1. Find Peace
** Whatever it is you are uneasy about, whatever it is that causes stress and angst, do whatever it takes to find peace. Realize that it's all part of your journey to go through whatever it is you are faced with and understand to accept the things you cannot change and move on in forward motion. Stop letting worry cloud your mind; worry is toxic... peace on the other hand is bliss.

Have a great night everyone! It's been a tough calendar week... very emotional and exhausting in many ways. I am sure that it will not end here, in fact... I know it won't so get a good night's sleep and start fresh tomorrow... I will be Christmas shopping!


A few pictures of me with my kiddos today
Abrielle was sleepy from school and pooped out before we took the pictures :( 

Me, Baleigh, Zane and Cierra being ourselves
Me, Zane and Cierra <3 p="p">
 Me and my mini-me